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SOMEDIARS

IMI QUALIFYING ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

 

(To view the SOMEDIARS Inter-Cultural Qualifying Assessment Program, click here)

  

Introduction and Background

Center for promotion of mediation and alternative dispute resolution (SOMEDIARS) (http://www.somediars.ru) with the Institute of legislation and comparative law with the Government of the Russian Federation (http://www.izak.ru) is created as a forum and scientific center for ADR specialists. 

The Center is formed as a national certification center for voluntary certification of the mediator training centers, training programs and Russian-speaking specialists who have completed their training in mediation and mediation advocacy.

SOMEDIARS is a scientific methodological information center. Its goal is to coordinate interaction, encourage exchange of experience and information between the centers of ADR created on the territory of the Russian Federation, CIS countries, other foreign States as well as centers set up by national and international non-governmental organizations.

OUR TEAM

  • Dr. Natalia G. Doronina – Member of the Panel of Mediators in Conciliation Proceedings at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia (http://www.tpprf-arb.ru/en/kp) - Head of the Center;

  • PhD in law Natalia I. Gaidaenko Schaer  - arbitrator of the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia ( http://www.tpprf-mkac.ru/en), Member of the Panel of Mediators in Conciliation Proceedings at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia (http://www.tpprf-arb.ru/en/kp), mediator, trainer -  Deputy Head of the Center.

  • Dr. Natalyia G. Semilyutina - arbitrator of the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia ( http://www.tpprf-mkac.ru/en);

  • Ekaterina A.Smolyannikova - Member of the Panel of Mediators in Conciliation Proceedings at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia (http://www.tpprf-arb.ru/en/kp), mediator, trainer.

1. Mediator Experience.

The Qualifying Assessment Program (QAP) must include a methodology for ensuring that Applicants have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Program's Assessors a substantial level of experience as a mediator. The QAP must include clearly identified criteria on this requirement.

Explanation of Organisations’ methodology:

Assessment will be based on written material, role-play or live action evaluations, other suitable methods, or any combination, and may include videotaped and online assessments, interviews, self-assessments, peer reviews, user feedback and other in-practice skills evaluations. Assessors shall be experienced in teaching mediation and ADR skills/practicing mediation. Methodology is described in Annex A

Stated requirement for a minimum level of experience:

Two levels of assessment are available for the applicants: (1) SOMEDIARS Accredited Mediator for new mediators seeking to obtain confirmation of their professional qualities; (2) IMI Certified Mediator for experienced mediators seeking for recognition of their skills on the international level.

To become SOMEDIARS Accredited Mediator, the applicant shall be fluent in Russian and have the experience of at least three mediations performed within the 3 years preceding the date of application (proven with feed-back from the participants/users and/or for court-connected mediations: direct reference to the name of mediator in the publicly accessible text of judgment or other documentary evidence).

To become an IMI Certified Mediator, the applicant shall be experienced mediation practitioner having performed at least 20 mediations or the total of 200 mediated hours within the 3 years preceding the date of application (proven with feed-back from the participants/users and/or for court-connected mediations: direct reference to the name of mediator in the publicly accessible text of judgment or other documentary evidence).

Each applicant shall be required to adhere to a Code of Ethics.

2. Mediation Knowledge.

The QAP must include a methodology for determining that Applicants have demonstrated a strong understanding of general mediation theory and practice which may be based on written tests, essays, reports, theses interviews and/or other testing platforms.

Methodology and criteria for determining that applicants have demonstrated a strong understanding of general mediation theory and practice are described in Annex A. In particular:

Each applicant shall be required to provide a Certificate of completed professional education in the field of mediation (at least 120 hours) (Russia) or equivalent of such training certificate in the other jurisdiction with the average assessment “good” or “excellent”; the criteria can be met through combining several mediation training courses or in one course.

Each applicant should submit self-assessment summary (drawn by the mediator on the basis of his/her experience in the free form and describing strengths, moments requiring improvement, measures taken and results).

Each applicant shall hold a 15-30 minutes interview with the assessor(s). This interview may subsequently be supplemented  with a multiple-choice test on understanding of ADR theory. 

 

3. Mediator Skills

The QAP must include a methodology for the evaluation of candidates' performance in terms of the occurrence and effectiveness of mediation process and mediation techniques, against high competency benchmarks. The Evaluations/Assessments may be based on roleplay or live action assessments, and may include videotaped and online assessments such as web dramas, self-assessments, interviews, peer reviews, user feedback and other in-practice skill evaluations.

Skills of the applicant shall be tested during an interview with the panel of assessors appointed by the Center and during a role-play of at least 45 minutes (to become SOMEDIARS Accredited Mediator) or at least 60 minutes (to become IMI Certified Mediator). Methodology is described in Annex A. 

4. Program Transparency. 

The benchmarks and criteria applied by the QAP must be published and be openly accessible on the organization's website. Details of all approved programs will be listed on the IMI web portal www.IMImediation.org and will include a direct link to the credentialing organizations' websites.

The benchmarks and criteria shall be published and openly accessible on our organization web-site www.somediars.ru

5. Program Integrity.

Each Assessor must have substantial experience of assessing the performance of mediators. At least one of the Assessors on each Program must be independent of the QAP.

Assessors shall be:

  • Fluent in Russian;
  • Possess considerable (at least 1 year) experience in teaching mediation and/or ADR related subjects in reputed educational institutions and have published mediation-related article(s) (at least 12 000 words) in a leading peer-reviewed dispute resolution journal (on-line included) or authored an extensive study on ADR accepted as recommended reading for training of mediators;
  •  AND/OR
  • Attested as trainers-mediators pursuant to the laws of their respective countries of residence; 
  • AND/OR
  • Experienced mediation practitioners having performed at least 20 mediations or the total of 200 mediated hours within the 3 years preceding their inclusion into the panel.

At least 2 QAP Assessors in each panel of 3 shall be required to be independent of (a) our organization and (b) organization where applicant got his/her training as mediator. At least one assessor in each panel shall be an experienced mediation practitioner.

6. Ongoing monitoring of Programs.

The QAP must include a process for the ongoing monitoring of the performance and practice of the Assessors. IMI will liaise closely with all recognised program organizers to maintain a sustainable quality control system.

Assessors shall remain on the list as long as they practice either as trainer, research fellow or mediator and show evidence of at least 30 hours of continuous professional development training taken or taught within each 2 years (participation in international conferences/lecturing on ADR subjects in the educational institutions/ training the teams for international mediation competitions).

Information exchange and terms of IMI monitoring shall be subject to the terms and conditions agreed with IMI.

7. Commitment to Diversity.

The QAP must be accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterization.

Our QAP shall be accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliation, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. 

 

General Information

Organization's full legal name: 

Center for promotion of mediation and alternative dispute resolution (SOMEDIARS) of the Institute of legislation and comparative law at the Government of the Russian Federation.

In what year was the organization formed and under the laws of what country?

Center was created in the Institute in 2011 under the laws of the Russian Federation.

B.Cheryomushkinskaya str. 34 Moscow Russia

Details of contact person:

Natalia Gaidaenko Schaer, Deputy Head of the Center

natalia.gaidaenko@sts-law.ru

Website: http://www.somediars.ru

QAP Approved 2014

SOMEDIARS QAP for IMI Certification, ANNEX A

 

SOMEDIARS

IMI INTER-CULTURAL QUALIFYING ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (ICQAP)

 

I. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Any ICQAP must meet the following general criteria in order to be able to qualify mediators for IMI Inter-Cultural Certification

A. Methodology

All ICQAPs must implement a performance-based assessment methodology for assessing whether each candidate’s performance meets each of the Substantive Criteria in Section II below. 

The assessment is conducted in two stages: (1) evaluation of  role-play scenario submitted by the applicant mediator and written essay based on it; (2) interview of the applicant. 

  1. The applicant mediator shall submit a role-play scenario describing a cross-border or intercultural mediation in which the applicant was involved or a scenario based on several intercultural mediations combined. Scenario shall contain the general description of the case and the confidential instructions for each party involved.  Written essay shall contain a summary of cross-cultural issues revealed by the applicant in the submitted scenario and his/her suggested solutions for them. The scenario should clearly describe the parties involved, the setting, the issues, the interests and positions of each party, the parties’ cultural background as well as any other relevant information.
  2. The written materials will be reviewed by an intercultural assessor and there will be a follow-up interview of 45-60 minutes with the board of assessors and the applicant.
  3. The applicant shall provide a self-evaluation of his/her intercultural skills as a mediator based on at least 3 actual cross border or intercultural cases or 30 hours of mediation: Strengths, Areas for improvement, Opportunities and Threats, expected impact of the mediator’s own culture on the mediation process.
  4. The applicant shall submit the chronological overview of his/hers mediations containing the months and year, number of mediation sessions, total duration of the mediation (the start is calculated from the date of first contact with the parties, the end is the date of concluding the mediation or signing the settlement agreement), subject matter, type of parties, cultural background of parties and other persons involved in the mediation, whether counsel were present, the number of participants and whether or not settlement (in part) was reached.
  5. The applicant shall submit a strategy and motivated explanation of his approach to preparation and conduct of the case described in the case study (scenario),  challenges, special points of attention and opportunities are connected to the case, communication styles used to reach mutual understanding. He/she will describe the cultural considerations which may impact the process and the methods used in order to adapt the process accordingly and design appropriate interventions. 
  6. The applicant must get a positive evaluation by the assessors in both the written (1, 3, 4,5) and the oral part (2) of the examination.

B. Transparency  

The benchmarks and criteria applied by an ICQAP must be published and be openly accessible on the organization’s website.

The program and the criteria shall be published on SOMEDIARS website (www.somediars.ru).

C. Integrity

Each Assessor must have substantial experience of evaluating the performance of mediators and in working in inter-cultural situations. At least one of the Assessors on each Program must be independent of the ICQAP training faculty for Inter-Cultural Certification. 

The board of assessors shall be composed of at least three assessors, fluent in Russian. SOMEDIARS assessors shall be qualified trainers-mediators and/or experienced mediators having substantial experience in cross-cultural mediation. Taking into account the specific features of the materials submitted be the applicant, one profiled specialist in intercultural relations (specialist in ethnology, history, religions etc.) can be invited to join the board of assessors. The assessors may either be engaged as independent contractors on case-by-case basis or on the basis of cooperation agreements between SOMEDIARS and training centers, ADR institutions and mediator’s organisations. Assessors will always be independent from the centers/institutes(s) in which the mediator received his or her training. Assessors shall sign an integrity and confidentiality declaration for each assessment stating:

“While assessing this mediator, I was acting in line with my professional integrity, independent of personal preferences, a specific mediation style or approach, training, or training institutes, professional affiliation, region, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or other personal characterizations or affiliations. I hereby attest that all marks were placed independently and to the best of my ability. I undertake to keep confidential documents and information, whatever their form, provided to me for this assessment and gathered as part of this assessment."

D. Diversity

The ICQAP must be accessible on an equal basis to experienced mediators regardless of their professional affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characterization. This should be clearly stated on each ICQAP’s website. 

This certification is available for any applicant meeting the criteria set by the certifying assessment center. Technical modifications of assessment process shall include, if technically feasible, on-line interview and video assessment. The provision on accessibility of the ICQAP as specified above shall be put on the SOMEDIARS web-site. 

 

II. SUBSTANTIVE CRITERIA

Any training program that offers IMI Inter-Cultural Certification must meet these minimum substantive criteria when teaching mediators inter-cultural elements: 

A. Knowledge

1. Cultural Framework(s): Ability to apply at least one recognized cultural theory in order to identify relevant Cultural Focus Areas for facilitating inter-cultural mediations (See Appendix 1). The theory and approach shall include an appreciation of similarities and differences among cultures. 

The applicant must describe in the case study’s strategy and reasoning part what dilemmas and strategic choices the mediator may have or has encountered, as well as which theoretical knowledge would be or has been of help in this particular case.  

2. Self-awareness. Ability to recognize one’s own cultural influences and their possible effect on the mediation.

The self-evaluation must contain a description of the mediators’ own culture and its impact on the mediation process.

3. Multi-Cultural Perspectives: Ability to recognize each participant’s culturally-shaped perspectives of behaviors or events. Ability to understand and appreciate participants’ similar and different cultural perspectives, and possible imbalances between them. Ability to manage ambiguities and mistakes that may emerge in multi-cultural situations. Ability to use the mediator’s understandings of these possible differences and similarities to create a workable environment for all participants, including one that optimizes communication among them. 

The applicant must describe the culture of the parties’ and others involved in the mediation and the cultural aspects of interaction between them and the mediator, and identify the cultural focus areas that can impact this mediation.

B. Skills

4. Communication: Ability to adjust one’s own communication style to the preferred styles of participants from other cultures, and to help participants communicate optimally with each other, including establishing suitable processes to facilitate communications. 

The applicant must describe how they enhance and/or adjust their communication to accommodate parties’ communication style and guide them through the process and to overcome differences. 

5. Preparation: Ability to prepare for a mediation by identifying possible cultural patterns and preferences (e.g., identifying specific Cultural Focus Areas for each mediation) and designing potentially appropriate processes and possible interventions. 

The applicant must describe how they will prepare for and initiate this case; design an appropriate process; what dilemmas and strategic choices they might be faced with.

6. Managing the Process. Ability to detect whether, when and how cultural considerations (e.g. Cultural Focus Areas) may be impacting on the mediation process as the mediation progresses including abilities to adapt the process accordingly and design appropriate interventions, that also encompass any settlement and compliance phases. 

The applicant must describe what is necessary to effectively manage this process with these parties, what cultural considerations may be influencing the process including how to adapt the process accordingly and design appropriate interventions.

ICQAP Approved 2014 

 

To contact SOMEDIARS in regards to becoming qualified for IMI Certification, email: natalia.gaidaenko@sts-law.ru

 

 

 

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